Malnutrition in picture: vivid image of food security problem in Nepal


  • Jamuna arrived at the home at 37 months old weighing 6.5kg and suffering from 90% malnutrition. In the three months since his treatment started, Jamuna has gained 2kg and is now less than 60% malnourished.
  • Photograph: Omar Havana

According to Asian Development Bank, “undernourishment in childhood has been shown to be significantly linked with lower school performance, lower salaries and income in adult life, and lower birth weight for the next generation.” [1] Nutrition for citizen, especially for children, is a real developmental problem for most Asian countries.

The Guardian online released a collection of photos of the malnourished children in Nepal to show the current situation of food security issue in Nepal. It was released almost the same time with a critical report named “can Nepal achieve zero hunger in 10 years?”

However, these photos are different from the skeptical topic of the report, it showed some of the truthful and positive image in Nepal, such as mothers try to learn how to feed their children nutritious and balanced meals based on locally available food. Besides, each picture has a short description to illustrate the meaning of the picture.

The data of written report are more convincing, however, it cannot express the real situation as vivid as picture. The photograph could demonstrate the children’s condition in Nepal graphically, and show the mothers’ effort of helping their children to improve the level of nutrition through a series of photos. It is also an easier way for audiences to get the point directly, and this is one of the reasons that why most of all news reports are matched with a relevant picture while it released.


Original website:

[1] Asian Development Bank, (2013) Food Security in Asia and the Pacific. Asian Development Bank: Mandaluyong City, Philippines.


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